Take iour 20ft Jayco Heritage on oodnadatta track.

Submitted: Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 15:18
ThreadID: 97943 Views:3245 Replies:10 FollowUps:1
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We are hoping to travel on the Oodnadatta track in 2013 and wre wondering if anyone of you readers has pulled their Jayco 20ft Heritage van through there. I am a careful driver, no rip, bleep and bust driving. What do you think?
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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 17:42

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 17:42
We drove the track a few years back in our Camper Trailer. A Kiwi mate travelled with us in his Golf Tourer, single axle independent suspension. He had no problems.

We saw a couple of Jayco Style vans with leaf springs etc whilst on the trip and I didn't see anyone with any problems on the road.
AnswerID: 494646

Reply By: Member - Vern (North Haven SA) - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 19:29

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 19:29
Hi
I drove this track in June and it was like a freeway for most of the way , then we encountered rain which never let up and the track went from freeway to a struggle to drive with a 4x4.

So my point is you need to be vary wary of the weather as this is the major contributing factor you need to consider

With all that said you need to drive to the conditions, however I would not like to be towing a van on the track when it gets wet.
AnswerID: 494651

Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 19:33

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 19:33
Hi Des and Lynley,

Provided your van has adequate clearance you should be ok. Is it underslung?

Last year we travelled the Oodnadatta Track and other dirt roads (Mereenie Loop) with our 18 ft Jayco sterling Outback in tow..and brother and sister in law accompanied us in their Jayco eagle (or similar), not an outback model.
The only problem we had was a small crack in the water outlet hose under the corner ensuite which let a lot of red dust in..it was repaired once we arrived in Alice Springs and then the van was thoroughly cleaned! Our van is quite high and has 16 inch wheels.
We found the road like a dirt highway but I think we were lucky as it had not long been graded in many parts.

If you do decide to go, I suggest you try to cover any hoses and cables underneath the van, fit a stone guard to protect against damage and drive to the conditions of the road at the time. Oh...and ensure you cover the rear window of your tow vehicle so it isn't broken by a deflected rock...like the brother in laws was when he ignored our advice! it was a costly mistake.

It was a wonderful trip..very interesting and scenic, lots of historic stops and great places to camp. I would do it again tomorrow if my husband would consent to it!

regards,

Heather

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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AnswerID: 494652

Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:05

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:05
First, as Vern said, check the weather and if there's a chance of rain, give a miss. Definitely.

Second, heather's comment about protection for your plumbing and cabling under the van are spot on. The road is generally in good nick, usually, which means you will tend to drive at around 80/90 kph (as most did when we last did it 15 months back) but that means the underneath of your van will cop a constant battering of stones. The plastic plumbing and electric brake cables will be exposed in a Jayco. Our cabling got shredded and we had no van brakes. We just took it easy. No big deal but get it protected with tape or tubing etc. If you don't feel up to the task, get your expert man to do it. That's the diff between our Jaycos and the top quality vans - they have better protection u/neath.

....and finally, you can come off the track via William Creek (Hotel) to Coober Pedy if you feel it's enough - the track is usually more rugged further north towards Oodnadatta. Last time, we got on at Coober via William Crk for that reason. Take it easy and nothing to fear (apart from a big downpour)
AnswerID: 494656

Reply By: Russan - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:24

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:24
Hi Des & Lynley

We drove the track about this time last year in the dry towing our 16ft Jayco j series, not an off-road van.

We drove to the conditions (slowly) and it was ok, also reduced the tyre pressure on the ute and van.

The rocks that are thrown up by your tow vehicle and the dust will be your main problems.
We taped up all the vents in the van with duc tape and got very little in.

Got a few stone chips on the front of the van and on the front arm of the awning, have since seen a few vans with canvas covers over the awning arms that would have prevented this. Also broke the grey water pipe from the sink with the rocks that flicked up but this was an easy fix.

As mentioned in previous post cover anything breakable under your van (pipes & wiring), take it easy and you should be ok.
AnswerID: 494658

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:50

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:50
We met three vans on the Oodnadatta track not too far north of Coward Springs around three weeks back all broken down. Two with suspension troubles as it was badly corrugated and full of lots of loose stones. They were not a happy bunch. The third had run out of fuel. (believe it!!!). They had also left one hell of a mess with their grey water back at the springs as well. I do not know the models but they claimed the vans were supposed to be okay on dirt roads. Twin axles and around 20' plus. All new and pulled by new cars with "new-to-dirt" drivers and from what I was told, not a damned UHF between them. One had lost some kind of step thingumy that had broken through the metal support and fallen off.

I just had a look at a few ads for them. Very similar, but a little smaller than the ones we saw. Not one of the advertisments mentioned any off road capability. Thus there isn't any. I wouldn't take it. They look very much like bitumen and smooth dirt roads type of vans. Sorry.

Phil
AnswerID: 494662

Reply By: Dough Boy - Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:56

Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 20:56
Hi Des & Lynley
I have driven the Oodnadatta track a a few times both towing and not.
I reckon the 2 most important factors to consider will be covering your back window to stop rocks flinging up from your van (this is a given it will happen !)
The other critical factor is tyre pressures . So many people bang on about this but not without reason. The gravel nature of the track is tricky when towing, with the huge amount of loose gravel, without dropping the tyre pressures you could easily end up skating your way into very big trouble !!
The trip will be well worth it, there is so much to see between Maree & William Creek
Have Fun !
AnswerID: 494663

Reply By: patrolmann - Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012 at 14:03

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012 at 14:03
Hi Guys,
We drove the Oodnadatta track last year with 4 vehicles and 4 vans.( Coromal, Jayco x 2, Roadmaster ) Would I do it again YES
We had only a small problem with a van losing an external fridge cover and an external light cover.
Drive to the conditions and slow right down for cattle grids and rutts in road and you should be fine. I agree with them that you should check for rain before you travel.
One thing I would say is to cover rear windows in the 4x4 with bubble wrap or similar to prevent windows being smashed from stones flying up from van. Also have a good stone guard for the van. I had full mud flaps on rear of 4x4 and van still got peppered with stones across the front.

Cheers
Patrolman
AnswerID: 494698

Reply By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012 at 20:18

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012 at 20:18
hi did the oodnadatta 2 mounths ago with the 7 mtr sterling o/b then did the plenty hway only trouble was to the patrol rear shocky bush cost 2.50 to fix at winton .cover up elec wires and water pipes under van found old carpet cut in strips worked for me drive to the tracks and have a radio . drop tyre presures down on van as well as tow vehical then you can pump up at marla . have fun and take your time took us 5 days for the track and 5 days to do the plenty regards morry
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Reply By: Des & Lynley - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 08:12

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 08:12
Des and I would like to thank you fellow caravaners for your replies regarding our forth coming trip on the Oodnadatta. We have taken ALL your advise on board and are looking forward to driving the track after preparation with the help of your replies. Thanks again. We will post a note after doing the trip to let you know of our experiences.
Cheers
AnswerID: 494751

Follow Up By: Member - Vern (North Haven SA) - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 18:10

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 at 18:10
Des and Lynley

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
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